Gisella Aitken-Shadle in detail
Job title/occupation/place of employment: Adult education and literacy development director (district wide), Northeast Iowa Community College.
Volunteer activities: I am the founder and director of Latino Empowerment and Development (LEAD), a nonprofit focused on providing educational and volunteer opportunities for Latinos in the northeast Iowa region. Also, I volunteer in various organizations through the local and state level.
Education: Bachelor of Arts in international studies with human rights concentration and minor in political science, Master’s in public administration and Doctor of Education in leadership for organizations (summer 2022).
Family: Husband, Matthew Shadle.
Person most inspirational to me and why: The person who is the most inspirational to me is my mother. She made a lot of sacrifices to raise me and my siblings, and she taught us to have strong values and to use the gifts we’ve been given to make a difference for others.
Favorite thing to do outside of work: Spend time with my family and travel.
One word to describe me: Fighter. I never give up, I persevere.
What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to know about you: One thing people would be surprised to know about me is that in addition to speaking English and Spanish, I also can speak French and Italian, and I have even learned a little bit of Chinese.
Greatest fear: My greatest fear is that I let the gifts and opportunities that I have been given go to waste. Every day I wake up and try to be grateful for what I have and to find ways to use those gifts to help others and make the world a better place.
What’s the one thing you are most passionate about in your life: The one thing I am most passionate about is making a difference in people’s lives and helping them succeed. I want to give back and help others overcome the barriers they face so that they can achieve their goals.
Brian Davis in detail
Job title/occupation/place of employment: Assistant vice president, sales strategy and development at Cottingham & Butler.
Volunteer activities: The contributions I make in the community come in several forms. As a family we have financially supported a number of organizations in the community including: Dubuque Community Schools, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Make-A-Wish, St. Anthony’s Church, Maria House, Mary’s Inn, Teresa Shelter, Roosevelt PTO, Eisenhower PTO, Cedar Rapids Derecho Fund, Barriers Project, C&B Better Initiative. Beyond the simple donation of funds we also do acts of kindness to offer support. As a family we’ve purchased dinner a few times for the Teresa Shelter residents and staff. We bring pizzas, dessert and drinks. It gives the folks a night off, provides an event for the families to look forward to and exposes our kids to some of the challenging situations people face. Recently we expanded our efforts by inviting other family to sponsor a pizza night for the shelter. The response was incredible. We got 25 family pizza night sponsors. We will be able to provide two pizza nights a month for the next year and beyond. In addition, I also enjoy building and creating unique pieces of wood furniture. In the past year I’ve donated well over $1,000 of custom furniture to support a few causes, and I am looking forward to doing more. All that said, I think my personal contribution that people will remember me for is in the way I help others. This isn’t the most public thing that I do and you won’t ever read about it in the paper. However, it’s the most fulfilling of all the things I’ve mentioned. I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from helping people figure things out and solve problems. Whether it’s helping a neighbor fix something, mentoring a friends child through their 4H wood project, helping launch a charitable initiative, repairing someone’s old family photo, building festival games for the school or anything else people ask me for, I am always willing to lend a thought and a hand.
Education: Bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University.
Family: Wife, Kimberly; children, Jackson, William and Samuel.
Person most inspirational to me and why: A large part of who I am has to do with how I was raised. My parents are my biggest inspiration. They have incredible work ethic and a reputation for being good people. I got to watch them earn everything they had and make do without everything they didn’t. They were my original role models for how to solve problems and learn new skills. I am tremendously proud of how I was raised and wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have also been extremely fortunate to work with David Becker. His support and guidance during my time at C&B has been a large part of my growth. In addition, all my C&B teammates have helped shaped me during my professional career. Some of the strongest relationships I have with teammates have been built on a foundation of respect. Respect for the skills and knowledge that we depend on each other for and that we can learn from each other. C&B has a unique way of hiring great people and creating an environment where they will be challenged, supported and rewarded.
Favorite thing to do outside of work: Getting together with family and friends is always No. 1 on our list. I want our kids to experience the important relationships and the closeness I have with my siblings and parents so that one day they will replicate it in their own lives. In my personal time I usually like to spend time in my shop creating my next piece of furniture, fixing something, building some contraption to solve a problem or finding a way to make something work better.
One word to describe me: Optimistic. I don’t mean in the common sense of everything is just going to magically work out or that I am lucky. I am an optimist because I believe there is always a solution. We can figure out how to solve any problem.
What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to know about you: I can speak a gibberish language called Obish. Essentially you just put “ob” before every vowel sound in a word. I am very quick at it but it has yet to serve as a valuable skill in the real world.
Greatest fear: If I am ever limited or forced to focus just on one thing. I have a lot of respect for people who are masters in their field but I love a variety of challenges, ideas and people. C&B has afforded me so many opportunities to make an impact in a variety of ways. Also, I am terrified of heights. God bless my wife for cleaning the gutters.
What’s the one thing you are most passionate about in your life: My family. It was an interesting transition in my life when I become responsible for more than just myself. My passion for doing what I do is about taking care of and being there for my family 100%.
Ellen Goodmann Miller in detail
Job title/occupation/place of employment: Community and resource development specialist, Gronen Consultant, Hawks Goodmann & Associates
Volunteer activities: Dupaco Community Credit Union board of directors; Communities in Schools of Mid-America, board of directors. Volunteer on political campaigns of all levels and with various nonprofits focused on justice
Education: Bachelor of Arts in English, Bachelor of Arts in drama/speech from Clarke University.
Family: Husband, Tom; daughters, Violet and Freya.
Person most inspirational to me and why: My daughters. They are endlessly curious, creative, thoughtful and full of wonder and joy. I admire the way they approach every day. And my mom — Teri Goodmann — she is transcendent.
Favorite thing to do outside of work: Hiking — I know the Mines of Spain and Swiss Valley Nature Preserve by heart. Being with my family — from extended to immediate, they’re all my favorite people.
One word to describe me: Mission-driven.
What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to know about you: I worked as a reporter at the TH as one of my first jobs out of college. I wrote for the East Dubuque (Ill.) Register and various features publications. It was a great experience.
Greatest fear: An unlived life.
What’s the one thing you are most passionate about in your life: Community-building. There is great power in listening, collaboration, and really seeing and hearing one another that creates collective action and positive change.
Zach Hodge in detail
Job title/occupation/place of employment: Executive vice president, material handling and logistics at Hodge.
Volunteer activities: TMBR (Tri-State Mountain Bike Riders), Foundation for Dubuque Public Schools board president.
Education: Bachelor of Arts in business administration and accounting from Wartburg College; MBA in business strategy from the University of Dubuque.
Family: Wife, Laura, sons, Oliver and Eben.
Person most inspirational to me and why: My wife — she brings a sense of balance to my life and really helps to keep me centered. She has a way of helping me bring things into perspective when I get anxious or stressed. We are very much a yin and yang to each other, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Favorite thing to do outside of work: Mountain biking, road cycling and trail running with the Dubuque Dad Club.
One word to describe me: Competitor.
What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to know about you: My favorite movie series of all-time is the “Fast and Furious” saga.
Greatest fear: Not being there for my family when they need me.
What’s the one thing you are most passionate about in your life: My boys — just keeping them active, healthy, and confident in themselves. We have a ton of fun together riding bikes, swimming at the pool, doing puzzles and watching movies. I just want to always be setting an example for them.
Amanda Iburg in detail
Job title/occupation/place of employment: Marketing specialist at Verena Street Coffee Co. and bridal consultant at Zazou’s Bridal Boutique.
Volunteer activities: Camp Albrecht Acres board member, event chair for Dubuque YP Days of Caring, Area Residential Care, Mental Health America and American Advertising Federation.
Education: Bachelor of Science in digital art and design from the University of Dubuque.
Family: Boyfriend, Travis; mother, Paula; father, Jeff.
Person most inspirational to me and why: There are so many inspirational women in our community — Jodi Stricker at Zazou’s Bridal, Jill Paisley at Luckythirteen Design, Whitney Sanger with Project Rooted and so many more. Much like them, I aspire to be a hard-working woman who makes an impact in our community, while working for a small business.
Favorite thing to do outside of work: Anything outdoors with family/friends: Traveling, kayaking, hiking and four-wheeling.
One word to describe me: Passionate.
What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to know about you: I’ve traveled to 19 states and 10 countries.
Greatest fear: Regret. I never want to look back on life and wish I would’ve done something. I try to live my life to its fullest.
What’s the one thing you are most passionate about in your life: I want to make a difference; whether it be at work, in my relationships or in the community.
Andy Link in detail
Job title/occupation/place of employment: President Link Hydraulic/Link Coatings.
Volunteer activities: Tri-state Transportation and Dubuque County Fair Board.
Education: Graduated from Wyo Technical School.
Family: Wife, Anne; children, Travis, Joseph and Maxwell.
Person most inspirational to me and why: My father taught me a work day starts and stops when you want it to.
Favorite thing to do outside of work: Camping with my family.
One word to describe me: Proactive.
What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to know about you: I like sit down and enjoy a movie.
Greatest fear: Not being around for my kids.
What’s the one thing you are most passionate about in your life: Creating a future for my kids to succeed.
Jared McGovern in detail
Job title/occupation/place of employment: Curator of Conservation Programs, National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium.
Volunteer activities: Catfish Creek Watershed Management Authority Board Member, Dubuque County ISU Extension and Outreach Council Member, Mississippi River Parkway Commission, Mississippi River Network Community Engagement Committee, Policy Working Group through the Aquarium Conservation Partnership, Resiliency and Youth Engagement Committee Member with the Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center Network, Former Citizen Advisory Board Member: Iowa Great Places, Dubuque County Land and Water Legacy PAC, trash cleanup volunteer with the Dubuque Metro Area Solid Waste Agency, Restoration Days volunteer with the Dubuque County Conservation Board.
Education: Bachelor of Science in animal ecology with an option in environmental interpretation from Iowa State University. Master of Organizational Leadership from Clarke University.
Family: Wife, Morgan McGovern; son, Freddie; daughter, Georgene May.
Person most inspirational to me and why: People most inspirational to me: Pat and Lynn McGovern. My parents are and will forever be the people I look up to the most. They show me how to be a caring leader in our community and to be sincere, comfortable and confident in who I am and what I am passionate about. They introduced me to the outdoors, encourage me, and offer counsel when I doubt myself. They taught me to be grateful, to always think of others and to be empathetic toward people’s views and life experiences — especially when said views and experiences differ from mine.
Favorite thing to do outside of work: I dabble in most things outdoors. If I were to list everything I find solace and excitement in while spending time outside we would be on this question for way too long. Find me, bring me a beer, and I’ll tell you all about my favorite things to do outside of work. With this said, I really like looking for freshwater mussels on the river while floating along in my kayak.
One word to describe me: Hopeful.
What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to know about you: I do shut down. I am not always 100% “on.” I give all of my energies to the things I am passionate about, but I, too, need to go comatose and binge sci-fi, post-apocalyptic and vampire TV shows sometimes just like everyone else.
Greatest fear: I’ll give you two answers here. One philosophical and the other just weird.
Philosophical: I fear and loath hypocrisy. I often am afraid that although my professional and personal mission is to inspire stewardship in others that I and my family are not doing enough as stewards ourselves. Sounds exhausting right?
Weird: Swimming in the ocean when I cannot see the bottom. I don’t know why, but this just really freaks me out.
What’s the one thing you are most passionate about in your life: People and our relationship with the world we are a part of.
Lauren Minert in detail
Job title/occupation/place of employment: Human resources manager at Kunkel & Associates Inc.
Volunteer activities: Women’s Leadership Network of Dubuque, communications director; Tri State Human Resource Association, programs chair; Fountain of Youth, events planning committee member; Opening Doors, fundraising committee member; American Heart Association, Dubuque Heart Walk event planning committee member.
Education: The University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, Bachelor of Business Administration, marketing.
Family: Fiancé, Travis Busch; puppy, Penny; mother, Kelly Bucci; father, Guy Minert.
Person most inspirational to me and why: Kim Budde is most inspirational to me. She inspires me every single day. She is the best mentor, leader, mother and friend. She pushes me out of my comfort zone, she encourages me and she trusts me. I aspire to follow in her footsteps.
Favorite thing to do outside of work: Outside of work I enjoy being active. Whether that is working out, being on the water, taking photographs, volunteering in the community or socializing.
One word to describe me: I am a very determined person. When I put my mind to something, I go all in. My energy and positive attitude assist me with seeing the project through.
What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to know about you: People would be surprised to know that I was terrified of dogs until I was 24 years old and now my puppy, Penny, is my best friend.
Greatest fear: My greatest fear is stagnation. I strive to always push myself out of my comfort zone and grow personally and professionally.
What’s the one thing you are most passionate about in your life: I am passionate about creating partnership and driving team success.
Danielle Moore in detail
Job title/occupation/place of employment: Manager, global parts order fulfillment — construction, forestry and power systems at John Deere.
Volunteer activities: MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center board member, parent volunteer and donor at Dubuque Dream Center, John Deere Employee Resource Group president — multicultural awareness group, John Deere mentor — women in supply chain and NSBE interns, Rock of Ages Baptist Church, school supply donations and Thanksgiving meal donations.
Education: BSE industrial and operations engineering from University of Michigan. MBA from University of Iowa, Tippie School of Management,
Family: Husband, Adam Moore; children, Isaiah, Elijah and Joshua.
Person most inspirational to me and why: My mother Gale Howard. She raised me as a single mother after my father passed suddenly when I was 3 months old. She raised me to be confident, believe that I can achieve my goals and she pushed me keep striving even when faced with setbacks.
Favorite thing to do outside of work: Travel with family (family reunions), sporting events (college football, baseball).
One word to describe me: Passionate.
What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to know about you: I am an avid sports fan (track game scores, player stats, news, ESPN is my favorite channel).
Greatest fear: Not being around for my children.
What’s the one thing you are most passionate about in your life: Creating lasting memories for and with my family.
Eva Schmid in detail
Job title/occupation/place of employment: Owner, Lotus Marketing.
Volunteer activities: Board member of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra.
Education: Bachelor of Arts in marketing and public relations, St. Ambrose University; Master’s of Business Administration from St. Ambrose University.
Family: Husband, Matt Schmid; son, Bennett.
Person most inspirational to me and why: Larry Hotaling, one of my first bosses. He made an incredible impact on me, taught me to always ask questions and think outside the box in my approach to developing marketing solutions and problem solving. Without his leadership early in my career, I don’t believe I would be the person I am today.
Favorite thing to do outside of work: Spend time with my family, travel and read.
One word to describe me: Strong.
What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to know about you: My first job after college was doing marketing and public relations for a steel foundry, and I loved it.
Greatest fear: Not being around for my child and husband.
What’s the one thing you are most passionate about in your life: Creating fun memories and traditions with my family.
Katie Thomas in detail
Job title/occupation/place of employment: President at Honkamp Krueger & Co., P.C.
Volunteer activities: St. Columbkille Parent Association, treasurer; Dubuque Montessori School, treasurer; Loras College CFP advisory board member.
Education: Bachelor of Arts in finance and accounting from Loras College.
Family: Husband, Andrew; and sons Jack and Ben.
Person most inspiration to me and why: I would have to pick two. My dad taught me the value of hard work and building relationships. Greg Burbach has been a great mentor at HK — first in my role as a client adviser and most recently as we work together to manage the firm.
Favorite thing to do outside of work: Travel.
One word to describe me: Determined.
What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to know about you: I have a motorcycle license.
Greatest fear: Heights.
What is the one thing you are most passionate about in life: My family.
Corey Young in detail
Job title/occupation/place of employment: Associate adviser, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
Volunteer activities: Founder, Key City Pride.
Education: Bachelor of Arts in communication, University of Dubuque; MBA in diversity and inclusion leadership, University of Dubuque.
Person most inspirational to me and why: Bayard Rustin, a civil rights activist who worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. but also was a gay Black man.
Favorite thing to do outside of work: Travel and spend time with friends and loved ones.
One word to describe me: Fearless.
What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to know about you: Moira Rose from “Schitt’s Creek” is my spirit animal.
Greatest fear: Not doing enough.
What’s the one thing you are most passionate about in your life: Impacting Lives In Whatever Positive way I can, especially in the BIPOC Queer Community.